by Irene Kim

Image:  @plantpeople  via  Instagram

There’s no ignoring the fact that CBD has been a major subject of discussion over the past couple of years, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going away anytime soon. Call it another millennial trend, a saving grace to clinical needs, or whatever you please, but one can only acknowledge the growing popularity of CBD use.

Despite all this ongoing talk, I’ve got to admit I’ve never really took a dive into the world of CBD. What makes it different from marijuana? How do you know what to take? How much to take? Is it safe? With all these questions shooting through my brain and the Internet just being its usual self (AKA a mish-mosh of varying answers and opinions), I spoke with CBD expert and co-founder of Plant People, Gabe Kennedy for some clarity on this matter. Plant People is a NYC-based CBD company that focuses on the efficacy, education and regeneration of plant-based medicine and the healing of the body and mind. Their mission is to heal, and connect people and the planet through the power of plants.

With years of research and personal experience under his belt, Gabe seemed like the perfect person to give me a little 101. So, for all you fellow CBD newbies, here’s how he broke it down for me:

What exactly is CBD?

CBD is short for Cannabidiol, and is one of over 120 compounds found in high concentrations in the Cannabis Sativa L. plant. Industrial Hemp is a strain of the Cannabis Sativa L. plant from which CBD products are typically derived.

What are some of the benefits of using CBD?

There are a handful of reasons as to why CBD has grown in popularity, especially for those who have sought out other types of medicine for mental and/or physical relief. It is important to understand the difference between products made with isolate, broad spectrum and full spectrum bases. Full spectrum is an oil that contains CBD, but also other cannabinoids, phytocompounds and THC. Broad spectrum is high in CBD, contains some other cannabinoids and no THC. Isolate is just the compound CBD. Although many people speak about the powers of the stand-alone compound CBD, many studies indicate that full-spectrum products have higher efficacy than isolate. Here are just a few of its benefits:

Image:  @plantpeople  via  Instagram
  1. CBD use can help alleviate physical pain and inflammation. Studies show that CBD may be effective in treating pain related to arthritis, multiple sclerosis, sciatic nerve pain, muscle spasms and more. In fact, Plant People was inspired after Gabe and co-founder Hudson Gaines-Ross both experienced spinal injuries that forced them to undergo conventional surgeries accompanied with conventional western medicine, thereafter. They were both negatively affected by these forms of treatment following their injuries, and found solace in plant-based remedies, instead.

  2. CBD can aid in easing stress, anxiety and depression. Gabe likes to describe CBD like a thermostat; it brings your body back to a comfortable, balanced state by making our brains “happy” chemicals, like serotonin and anandamide, much more accessible and abundant.

  3. CBD can improve your sleep. Because CBD promotes a state of homeostasis, it can help lessen any discomfort your body may be feeling, allowing you to have a much more restful night of sleep. It’s shown to even help with REM sleep disorder, along with other types of mental and physical disturbances that may hinder our sleep.

Will CBD give me the same type of high as smoking marijuana?

The simple answer is NO. Getting high from using CBD products is a popular misconception for many people new to the world of herbal medicine. CBD is found in both hemp and marijuana, but the use of CBD products will not give you a high because there is no intoxicating component in CBD. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychoactive component found in Cannabis, which is what gives marijuana smokers a high. Industrial Hemp, however, is defined by having <.3% THC when it is harvested, while marijuana is defined by having above .3%, ensuring that using a CBD product will not make you high.

Image:  @plantpeople  via  Instagram

Will I get addicted?

Nope! You definitely do not have to worry about getting addicted to CBD, as there is no addictive component to it, nor does your body build any sort of tolerance to it.

What type of CBD product I should be taking? How much should I be taking? And how often?

Because they human body is so idiosyncratic, there really is no one answer. Most people today are super accustomed to treating themselves with pharmaceutical medicines as prescribed by doctors, and in many ways, this is how we form our understanding of our own bodies and health. When learning about how CBD interacts with your body, however, a lot of it is done through trial and error. Because CBD is not psychoactive or psychotropic, you don’t have to worry about feeling a wild high or an intense state of drowsiness. Simply experimenting with just a small serving of a CBD oil each day can be a great way to begin learning what suits your body best. It is important to understand your bodily needs, as well as how different strains of Industrial Hemp can affect you in different ways. If you’re still unsure as to how to dip your toes into CBD healing, seek out honest, ethical companies like Plant People, who focus on providing clean and effective products.

Irene Kim is the Assistant Editor at the The Sunday Issue and Marketing Assistant at Sunday Forever. When not creating magical content you can find her dining with her friends at some cool new place every single night. Follow Irene @_irenekim